Planning Ahead: Black Friday & Cyber Monday for Travel Marketers

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are approaching fast. Advertisers, including those for travel brands, should consider planning ahead and taking action now to ensure that they don’t miss this huge e-commerce opportunity.

A Vital Opportunity for Retailers

While Black Friday and Cyber Monday (BFCM) may be relatively recent additions to the calendar—certainly when compared to their seasonal neighbors, Christmas and Thanksgiving—they’re no less important for retail businesses. Nor is this a U.S. trend only – the concept continues to spread and grow globally, as you can see in this data for the UK, Australia, and Japan.

But has the pandemic dampened consumer demand over the Thanksgiving holiday period? In a word, no. In fact, according to eMarketer, in the U.S. Cyber Monday 2020 saw the heaviest online spending of any given day in history, with almost $11 billion spent. This record is predicted to be beaten in 2021, with another 11% rise in spending expected over this year’s Thanksgiving period.

What Does This Mean for Travel Marketers?

The past couple of years have seen the spending bonanza extend into a third day, dubbed “Travel Tuesday”, which goes to prove that the seasonal spike in demand extends to the travel industry. And this year there are other dynamics likely to help.

Firstly, with the pandemic having impacted leisure activities over such a prolonged period, Forbes predicts that many people will take little convincing to spend on indulgences like travel. Secondly, according to CNBC, shipping delays and a reduction in discounting may encourage spend away from purchases of physical products in favor of experiences, such as travel.  

But what are travel shoppers looking for? We know that search and booking windows remain short compared to pre-pandemic norms (as we saw in the latest Travel Recovery Trend Report): around 60% of searches globally are for a month or less in advance. So, if we apply this tendency to Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, we can see that shoppers are likely to be looking for deals for the critical Christmas and New Year travel period.

Time to Prepare with the Right Advertising Solution

To grasp such a huge and clear opportunity often requires plenty of planning ahead. For travel advertisers, now would certainly seem to be the time to be doing this planning, if not already. Fortunately, Expedia Group Media Solutions has a range of flexible solutions to help marketers connect with this massive and highly engaged BFCM audience.

With data showing that overall web traffic can more than double its normal volumes, it’s clear that shoppers will be jumping between many different sites. Our PassportAds solution means that your advertising can follow them and continue engaging as they do so.

Two travelers in an airport

Create compelling campaigns for your destination 

With travel demand on the rise, destination marketers have the opportunity to reach eager travelers.

Destination marketers can take advantage of our insights into traveler behavior to connect with travelers, create excitement about their destination, and build compelling campaigns to stand out from the competition.

You can even extend your brand’s message beyond web thanks to two special advertising opportunities we’ve enabled especially for the seasonal period. Firstly, there are ad placements on newsletters for a variety of our brands, including Expedia, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Wotif. And for even more visibility your brand could send its own dedicated email to one of our brands’ mailing lists.

As ever, advertising campaigns can function more effectively when they include multiple channels. Our advertising experts are on hand to guide you in selecting the most effective combination for your brand.

To find out more about other trends impacting the travel industry as it recovers from the pandemic download the most recent edition of our Travel Recovery Trend Report, covering Q2, from here.

Alternatively, get in touch and talk to our experts about email advertising and other great ways to market your brand over the Black Friday and Cyber Monday period.

Christine Walker Scarce

Senior Director, Product & Sales Marketing

Christine Walker Scarce leads the product marketing team at Expedia Group Media Solutions, overseeing the go-to-market strategies for the digital advertising products and services across the Expedia Group portfolio of leading travel brands. Her team is responsible for everything from product planning and positioning to marketing strategy to deliver innovative media offerings and reporting for marketing partners. Christine previously spent seven years at as the senior manager for destination management, where she led product strategy for With more than 20 years in the marketing industry, Christine has experience in e-commerce, merchandising and technology industries, having led product strategy and development previously at and T-Mobile. She is a graduate from the University of Houston and lives in Seattle with her family.

Read More Posts by Christine